Coronavirus

NWT renews public health emergency, state of emergency for seventh time


The Northwest Territories government has extended the territory-wide public health emergency and state of emergency for another two weeks, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a press release on Tuesday, the government announced that Diane Thom, minister of Health and Social Services, is extending the public health emergency on the recommendation of Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola.

Premier Caroline Cochrane, as minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, is extending the state of emergency. 

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Both extensions come into effect on June 24 and expire on July 8. 

This is the seventh time that both the NWT’s public health emergency and state of emergency have been extended.

A public health emergency was first declared in the territory on March 18. The territory’s first-ever state of emergency was declared on March 24. 

The extensions mean the NWT government continues to have extra powers under the Emergency Management Act and the Public Health Act. That includes the ability to make orders restricting or prohibiting travel to, from, and within the territory. 

Under these territorial acts, ministers can extend a state of emergency and a public health emergency up to 14 days. They can continue to extend the declarations as many times as required to protect public health. 

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The government says as the pandemic continues, there will continue to be a need for public health measures and restrictions.

The territory is currently in phase two of its pandemic recovery plan. Anyone entering the territory is required to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River, or Fort Smith. 

Under the plan, all pandemic-related restrictions won’t be lifted until a vaccine or an effective treatment for Covid-19 is approved and a large portion of the territory’s population can access it. 

There are currently no active cases of Covid-19 in the NWT. As of June 23, 2547 tests for Covid-19 have been completed in the territory and 10 are pending results.

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